Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Free Web Directories Without Reciprocal Links – 3 Yr Case Study

Links to your website from other sites are important in optimisating your site for search engine visibility.

The Case Study

In December 2018, I published an article called “List of Free Directories for Your Personal Website/Blog 2018” where I manually sumbitted my personal website/blog to 299 free web directories. This took approximately 100 hours of research and form filling to complete.

I solely focused on free web directories which do not require a reciprocal link (some directories require you to link back to them from your website in exchange for being listed in their directories, known as a reciprocal link).

As most directories require time for your submission to be approved, it was not clear at the time of the original post how many backlinks my directory sumbissions would generate.

Now almost 3 years later I have reviewed the list of submissions, and the results are in!

The Results

From my original list of 299 Free Web Directories which do not require a reciprocal link, almost 3 years later and just 1.3% have been listed. Totalling 4 backlinks.

I’ve included a list of the 4 websites where the submissions were accepted and posted below, along with their domain rank (extracted from and whether the link is Follow or NoFollow.
Domain Rate: 7
Domain Rate: 13
Domain Rate: 23
Domain Rate: 19

In conclusion based on this study, the number of links generated through manually submitting my website to Free Web Directories that do not require a Reciprocal Link was very low. This definately does not justify the upfront investment of time, so I would not recommend repeating this activity.

Instead of manually submitting your website to all Free Directories that don’t require a reciprocal link (which personally I found unsuccessful), you could just manually submit your website through the above links to give a faster and more predictable result.

I hope this is helpful. Please leave a comment and share your experience with Free Web Directories.

By Andy Corby

Hi, I'm Andy and I am a Digital Marketer and Full Stack Web Developer, with a BA (Honours) Business & Finance Degree (2:1) and 10+ Years Experience in Marketing and Development.

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